Neoliberalizing Anticrime Activism: Civilian Patrols & the Post-welfarist Citizen

By Brian Jordan Jefferson.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

Many scholars have analyzed the interplay between neoliberal governance, community-based anticrime activism, and new forms of social control. These works lay stress on government divestments in public services, but are reluctant to chronicle investments in low-income community-based groups. The present article problematizes rigid neoliberal-investment binaries by analyzing state support of Brooklyn-based civilian patrol, UMMA Group Inc., so as to gain deeper insight into neoliberal disciplinary objectives in impoverished communities of color. I argue that the civilian patrol positioned itself to elicit state assistance by circulating post-welfarist concepts of crime control throughout its locality, and casting itself as an ideological proxy of the New York Police Department (NYPD). This dynamic, I chronicle, is expressive of a neoliberal proclivity to regulate urban social problems via force, and construe civic duty via socially divisive practices.

Keywords: NYPD, Community Policing, Anticrime Activism, Civilian Patrols, Neoliberalism, Responsibilization

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2014, pp.59-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 430.048KB)).

Brian Jordan Jefferson

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA